Viva Las Vegas (with Kids)
A few years ago, if you had told me that there are kid-friendly things to do on the Las Vegas strip I would have given you the side-eye. Surprisingly though, you don’t have to look too hard to find activities and sites that both you and your kids will love…
- Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay: Modeled after a shipwreck, this famous aquarium is a must-see for families. The kids will love the Touch Tank where they can get up-close and personal with a rotating selection of animals like manta rays, sharks or horseshoe crabs (all de-barbed of course).
- Fountains of Bellagio/Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens: You can’t help but fall in love with these gorgeous displays at the Bellagio. Specially choreographed fountains shoot water and light daily to classic tunes by Frank Sinatra and other greats. Get a front row seat for this spectacle at one of my favorite restaurants, Olives, for some delicious Mediterranean food all with the fountains as a backdrop. Don’t worry – you can ask for macaroni and cheese for the kids. While you’re there take a tour of the Conservatory for seasonally updated displays of flowers, sculptures and water features. My kids loved the butterfly garden last spring.
- Cirque du Soleil: There are many Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, but my particular favorite is the Beatles LOVE show. The music is spectacular and so are the acrobatics so it’s a treat for both you and your kids.
- Gondola Ride at The Venetian: When in Rome, right? A great break from the Vegas heat, the singing gondoliers glide you down the Grand Canal modeled after the sunken city.
- Coca Cola Store & M&M’s World: Just in case you’re a glutton for punishment like we were, take your children to two giant stores filled with chocolate and soda. Luckily, you can wear them out at a hotel pool later.
- The Shops at Crystals: While you may be wondering why such a luxurious shopping center made it onto a list for kids, mine went crazy for the escalators here. They loved riding them up and down, almost as much as they loved playing at the pool. And it was nice not having to worry about sunscreen.
- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat: From white tigers to bottlenose dolphins, these exhibits are perfectly geared for kids. Their VIP package guided tour is about 1 hour long so kids don’t lose their attention span. The Mirage also offers a morning yoga class at the bottlenose dolphin habitat for an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- The Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris: It’s a great place to take in the sights with only a few short elevator rides to the top. Once you take the obligatory pictures of the skyline on the observation deck, you can dine a few stories below at the Eiffel Tower restaurant.
- High Roller at The LINQ: I’m usually not one for heights, but the gorgeous views as well as the large and safe-feeling cabins were enough to sell me to get on this ride. See all of Las Vegas from the world’s tallest observation wheel, and once you get off visit the fun shops and restaurants at the bottom. Make sure to grab a Sprinkles cupcake or go to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop, they give out free samples.
- Golden Nugget Tank Pool: A 3-story water slide that runs through a shark tank. Enough said.